Are You Listening?

They say benefits, sell not features. However there are times we all come across sales pitches that focus on the features of the product or the service so much that they forget to outline the benefits of the product. We once had an experience with a vendor who tried to sell us something really hard without focusing on the pain points, and followed up on a Tuesday, when we had specifically asked him to call on a Wednesday afternoon.  That left us really disappointed as customers. Why give these examples?  It’s because listening is an art to identify the need to sell! If you are a great listener, that’s brilliant, as you have got one of your basic skill sets right. But if you are not, it’s time to work on a few things.

Listen more, talk less:  By default, we tend to talk more while selling our services.  We hardly give our prospect the chance to speak despite getting subtle signs from them asking us to stop. This can primarily happen for two reasons. One is we get jittery that the customer would reject us. And two, we are always super excited to talk about our product and services with a generalized belief that everyone needs it!  Listen more and let your customer speak. When you let your customer speak, they feel important.

ListenGive them what they need: It always starts with “Why?” As responsible sales persons, we need to identify the pain points of the customer, and then sell them what they need. This requires probing and asking the right questions, and most importantly, Listening! A problem well defined is a problem half solved, and it all happens by careful listening. With great listening, great selling follows.

A “No” is not always a “No”: This reminds of an article we wrote sometime back, Analyze your “NO”se. The thing which we need to remember is that even though we are great listeners, we acknowledge the issues the customer is facing, and we are ready with the perfect solution, the customers may still not engage us that point of time. The reasons can be things like budget approval, change in role of the buyer, and even things like the customer going on vacation! The clever thing to do is to keep in touch, and look for an opportunity to do business with them in the future. Trust us, they will get back when they need you!

If any specific skills have worked for you to make great sales, please share them with us via comments below.

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